The Wolfram|Alpha Blog is now part of the Wolfram Blog. Join us there for the latest on Wolfram|Alpha and other Wolfram offerings »
The Wolfram|Alpha Team

Calculating Your Daily Food Intake with Wolfram|Alpha

August 7, 2009 —
Comments Off

We have heard from many people who are interested in learning more about calculating their daily food intake in Wolfram|Alpha. If you have been following our posts on how to use Wolfram|Alpha to help achieve your nutritional and wellness goals, this will be easy as apple pie.

Our data curators have been busy working on over 7,000 food entities that are listed in the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference and other food databases. Currently, they’re adding additional brand-name and specialty food items. Once a food entity is placed into Wolfram|Alpha’s nutrition bank, rules and algorithms are applied to help categorize it by typical attributes (e.g. raw, boiled), units (e.g. cups, tablespoons), and unique serving forms (e.g. slices, pieces). As a result of these categorizations, when you enter a food item such as “strawberries” into the site’s computation bar, Wolfram|Alpha computes a breakdown of total calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, protein, and other particular nutrients based on standard serving sizes (units) and attributes.

Now let’s get started! For this example, a member of our team tracked her food intake yesterday to be computed for the world to see.

Breakfast: egg + bacon + strawberries

Lunch: turkey breast meat + 2 slices of whole-wheat bread + mustard + grapes

Snack: Snickers candy bar

Dinner: McDonald’s McChicken sandwich + McDonald’s French fries

As Wolfram|Alpha defaults to one unit serving, we only need to enter units if she consumed more than one serving.

“egg + bacon + strawberries + turkey breast meat + 2 slices whole-wheat bread + mustard + grapes + Snickers + McChicken + McDonald fries”

Wolfram|Alpha returns an assumption pod, which will allow you to choose more-specific food descriptions.

Once you have made your final selections, verify the information in the input and assumption pods displaying your food descriptions and serving amounts, and Wolfram|Alpha will return a nutrition label containing a complete computation of your daily food intake. If you click “Individual nutrition facts” on the right side of the nutrition facts pod, Wolfram|Alpha will return a nutrition label for each food item.

Wolfram|Alpha's compuation of daily food intake

If you have a health and wellness blog topic you’d like to see us cover, please let us know via the comment box below.


If this could be used to convert to Weight Watchers Points, you would gain hundreds of thousands of hits/day

Posted by Mike Liljedahl August 8, 2009 at 11:27 am

Are things like Red Bull , V-8 ,Becksand other drinks included?

Posted by chuck higgins August 14, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Chuck: Here are a few links to Red Bull and V8 Juice.

    Posted by The PR Team August 17, 2009 at 11:28 am

Interesting, but doesn’t seem quite as easy as something like CalorieKing. I’m just starting with WolframAlpha – it is already amazing.

Posted by Hal August 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm

This tool could make me very conscious of what I eat, which would be a very good thing!

Posted by Marieta Steenekamp September 10, 2009 at 8:43 am

I have looked at many sites on this subject and not come

across a site such as yours which tells everyone everything that they need to know. I have

bookmarked your site. Can anyone else suggest any other related topics that I can look for

to find out further information?

Posted by Calculating Cholesterol December 9, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Thank you for posting this information, it will help a lot of people.Can you tell me of other source of this information?

Posted by Foods high in Cholesterol December 13, 2009 at 8:43 pm